Sen. Ted Cruz's announcement last week kicked off the GOP presidential primary, and the race will gear into motion as April is expected to bring a shower of candidates declaring their candidacy. According to a local news report, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio could announce his presidential bid April 13 at Miami's Freedom Tower, a historical landmark for Cuban immigrants in the U.S.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Rubio has already reserved the downtown Miami building for an undisclosed event on April 13, most likely to declare his bid. Known as the "Ellis Island of the South," the Freedom Tower was once used to process and assist Cuban refugees escaping from the communist country after Fidel Castro came into power. As a first generation son of Cuban exiles himself who frequently tells of a compelling family history — though he has been accused of embellishing it — the Freedom Tower seems like an apt location for the junior senator to announce his bid for the presidency.
However, his spokesman Alex Conant said on Saturday that no final decisions regarding the date and location of Rubio's announcement have been made. Reuters reported that Conant had said before that an announcement would happen early April.
Libertarian Republican Sen. Rand Paul is set to declare running on April 7 in Kentucky, followed by an ambitious five-day, five-state tour. April 13, then, would be good timing for Rubio, who would not want to share the media — and people's — attention with Paul.
Holding the event at the Freedom Tower could possibly create a traffic nightmare in downtown Miami, as a Miami Heat-Orlando Magic game at the American Airlines Arena located across Biscayne Boulevard takes place that same day. Politico reported that the venue has not been inspected by Rubio's team in Washington, who are set to look into it this week.
The last time Rubio was at the Freedom Tower, he addressed graduates of a Goldman Sachs small business program at Miami Dade College. His speech highlighting an America where anyone, anywhere can amount to something has been supported in the past by his own background, and is likely to be a potential theme of his campaign. According to Politico, he told the graduates:
The American Dream isn’t about how much money you make or about how much you own. The American Dream is about being happy. Anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything. You can dream big.
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